The Valero Alamo Bowl currently has connections with six contenders for the 2011 Heisman Trophy. Players from the Pac-12 and Big 12 Conferences are dominating the ESPN Heisman Watch list, including Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden and wide receiver Justin Blackmon, Oregon running back LeMicheal James, Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones, and Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III.
Luck, who has been in the No. 1 spot on the Heisman polls all year, has lead Stanford through nine weeks this year with as many wins. So far this season, the senior from Houston has thrown for a total of 2,424 yards with 194 completions in 272 attempts, putting his completion percentage over 70 percent. Stanford will face Cal this Saturday at home.
Arguably the best pass-catch combo, Weeden and Blackmon have connected 26 times for 377 yards and four touchdowns in the last two games alone. The two traveled to San Antonio for last year’s Valero Alamo Bowl and synced up eight times for 112 yards and two touchdowns. Weeden is 282-391-3212 on the season, while Blackmon has 87 receptions for 1,039 yards. The Cowboys travel to Iowa State for a night game on Saturday.
James, a native of Texarkana, Texas, has been named a Maxwell Award semifinalist after breaking the school records for career rushing yards (4,182) and the single-game rushing record (288) against Arizona in their Pac-12 opener. The junior is currently 133-1061 rushing and 12-165 receiving, with 10 touchdowns. Oregon, who is undefeated in the Pac-12, faces USC on Saturday at home.
Sammy Baugh Award winner, Jones, has a total of 3,349 yards this season with 254 completions in 393 attempts. Jones currently owns seven passing records at Oklahoma, including the single-game yardage mark with 468 yards in 62 attempts, also a Sooner record. Last year, Jones surpassed the season and career record for 400-yard games with two and three, respectively. The Sooners plays Baylor at 7 p.m. (CST) this weekend.
Also known as RG3, Griffin is back on the ESPN Heisman Watch list after a come-from-behind overtime victory against Kansas last weekend. He currently holds 40 school records in rushing, passing and total offense, including career rushing touchdowns by a quarterback (23), season passing efficiency (144.22 in 2010) and career total yards (7,628). Griffin owns a completion percentage of nearly 75 percent and is 224-302-3,093 on the season. RG3 faces Oklahoma fellow Heisman candidate Jones this Saturday.
The Valero Alamo Bowl has never featured a Heisman Trophy winner the year they won the title, but with Luck, James, Jones and Griffin all in our mix, it seems possible for the 2011 game.
The 77th Annual Heisman Memorial Trophy will be announced Saturday (Dec. 10) at the Best Buy Theatre in Times Square, New York. For more information please visit www.heisman.com.